Remembering Mama (and Daddy, too)

Save fingertips clicking across a soft keyboard, and the purr of a coffee-colored feline sleeping, the night is filled with absolute silence. There is a stillness lingering, the subtle essence of vanilla and sugar settling into the air. In these first minutes of a new day and an anniversary, or two.

The first anniversary is a joyful one, a day when my mom and dad stood before their family and friends exchanging vows and their devotion for one another.

My mom wore a high-collared long sleeved tea-length wedding dress, my father a dapper black suit and tie. I know this from the black and white photos nestled into old scrapbooks and archived photo sleeves. The images are from before and after, I haven't yet found one taken at the church. I recognize the sweeping banister in the dining room and the arch at the entryway between the living room and the foyer, all taken at the house. This house, their house, our house.

Later when I remember the second anniversary, the not so pleasant one, the sequential montage will come to mind in a flash of archways and bannisters, wooden parquet floors and cornice moldings, swirling around a hospital bed. I will remember the muted television and the flash of Lauren Bacall on a train traveling through the desert, the silence interrupted by an intermittent beat of a respirator, my father snoring on the couch. The absence of a grey striped cat, and the eerie stillness that lingers indefinitely when you realize that the quiet you are hearing is your mother's last breath saying goodbye. 

Remembering Mama, 14 Years Gone, Forever in Our Hearts
Lucy Romano Preziotti
9/19/28 - 1/23/00


New Year, New Me

Twenty-two days in to a brand new year and what do I have planned? Change, and lots of it. Change of life, change of perspective and in the not so distance future, a change of address. That last one will be a challenge, once you live in a place for most of your lifetime it becomes more than a physical entity and part of your lifeline. Yes, I'm talking about the invisible lifelines on your palm, and the superimposed ones that trace the bloodlines from your heart center to your mind. The intangible becomes solid and everything takes on another sheen of reality. All at the hand of one moment that acts as the catalyst for all those fleeting thoughts of what ifs pondered on roads not yet taken.

If this doesn't make sense it's okay, I don't think it's supposed to. That's what grief does: scrambles the frequency of thoughts conjured by a once rational at times dreamy daughter and neutralizes them, until she's ready to deal. Which may be today, or tomorrow, or yesterday, and that all takes time. The healing, it takes time.


Keeping it steady

Unready. Am I having second thoughts, and if so, why am I having second thoughts. I was ready am ready. And yet suddenly unsure, maybe it’s the fear, that fear of the unknown – not knowing what decision is right vs. the one that could be wrong.
Am I ready? Or is that I am unready?
Funny how things shift day-to-day feelings, ideas, thoughts – seismic shift, continental shift, sands through an hourglass shift. Life is beginning and ending simultaneously at any given moment.
How do I feel about anything? Right now I feel hollow, lost. Even going to the vet with Rocky – I hear the doctor say the words but the meaning is a gobbledy-gook of nonsense to this ear.

Right here. Right now.
Today is Bev’s year anniversary – how my heart reaches across time and space and distance to hold my West Coast family at its center. In three days it will be mom’s 14th death anniversary. Fourteen years, where did they all go? Then in 13 days it’ll be six months without Dad. Sometimes time moves fast, sometimes slow, but it keeps on moving.

Moving. This year I will be moving...toward what is the question. Working toward the next chapter of my life, to another something, which can mean anything. 

Anything at all.